tv Andrea Mitchell Reports MSNBC August 11, 2017 9:00am-10:00am PDT
lot lotto. power ball and mega millions pushing $400 million. >> the odds of winning the power ball is one in 292 million. mega millions, one in 282 million. the odds of winning is one in 700 quadrillion. time now for andrea mitchell and "andrea mitchell reports." right now on "andrea mitchell reports," locked and loaded. president trump says the u.s. military has plans at the ready should north korea act unwisely. >> they've been doing this to our country for a long time, for many years. and it's about time that somebody stuck for the people of this country and the people of other countries. if anything, maybe that statement wasn't tough enough. >> despite new reports that the state department is holding secret talks with the regime. >> the american effort is
diplomatically led. the tragedy of war is well enough known, it doesn't need another characterization beyond the fact that it would be catastrophic. pay it forward. the president praising vladmir putin for kicking dozens of american diplomats out of moscow. >> i want to thank him because we're trying to cut down on payroll, so as far as i'm concerned i'm very thankful he let go of a large number of people. because now we have a smaller payroll. over the hill. senate republicans rush to their leader's defense against the president's escalating attacks. >> i'm very disappointed in mitch. honestly, repeal and replace of obamacare should have taken place. and it should have been on my desk virtually the first week i was there, the first day i was there. good day, everyone, i'm andrea mitchell in washington.
president trump ramping up his rhetoric against north korea in a new tweet today, saying the u.s. military is locked and loaded. as north korea's state news agency is threatening thermo nuclear war calling the united states a lump, which we can beat to a jelly. all this after the president on thursday said this. >> he has said things that are horrific. and with me, he's not getting away with it. he got away with it for a long time between his and his family. he's not getting away with it. it's a whole new ballgame. he does something in guam, it will be an event the likes of which nobody's seen before, what will happen in north korea. he'll see. he will see. it's not dare, it's a statement. it has nothing to do with dare. >> joining me now nbc white house country kristen welker in new jersey kelly cobiella, and miguel almanguer in guam and
courtney kubi at the pentagon. g the president has big meetings set up for this afternoon. we're talking about a big foreign policy strategy briefing. >> reporter: that's right. that's going to happen at 5:00 this evening, andrea. obviously, north korea will be the central topic of discussion during that meeting and that security briefing that they get later on today. but it does come after we have seen president trump escalate his war of words with north korea, both in terms of those sound bites you played and then in a tweet early this morning, which which he said that the united states is locked and loaded and ready to take action. the u.s. military is always locked and loaded. it's not clear if he's talking about some type of action that is being taken right now, or if he's just referring to the general posture of the u.s.
military. either way, he's not backing away from these very tough comments that have gotten a lot of backlash from lawmakers and from some within his own administration who are concerned that this is not the right way to go about this crisis situation. his own defense secretary, james mattis speaking overnight, saying that diplomacy is still the guiding principle of the united states. also making it very clear that the u.s. is ready. it's also worth noting that a number of other countries are taking note, concerned about the president's rhetoric, including russia, china, and germany. so the president not backing down, even as some of his administration officials move to calibrate his message. >> angela merkel and others are chiming in as well. ben rhodes reacting to locked and loaded. tweeted this isn't a video game.
hundreds of thousands of lives at stake in war with north korea. was this statement signed off on by anyone? a telling question. courtney, there does seem to be a lot of ad-libbing, improvising by the president of the united states. and i know it is of concern to people, not only at the pentagon but at the state department? >> reporter: we're all used to a previous administration where everything was rheavily vetted. when there was someone talking about as critical with relationships with north korea. allies were brought in and informed about a statement prior to being made, south korea and japan. they would be notified. this is a steep departure from what we're accustomed to seeing. as you know better than anyone else. the president's tweet this morning, in essence about a military posture, it is correct. the u.s. military is always locked and loaded. they are always on a high state
of readiness in this region, in this area, because we have a north korean leader, kim jong-un, who is very unpredictable. and he, himself, you know, unleashes a lot of fiery rhetoric. the part of the tweet that was a little bit disconcerting was him saying the word now. they are now locked and loaded. they are always in a state of readiness for primarily defensive but also offensive measures should they be necessary. >> and in guam, of course, the most immediate target, miguel almanguer, you've been hearing from the governor from others as they try to prepare for the uncertainty. in fact, we could even play the governor and what he had to say. we'll come to you on the other side. >> when you have these threats coming, it does bring concern. but, also, as a governor, it's important not to understate the threats, but also important not to overstate the threats. >> miguel, that was quite an
interesting interview you did with the governor there. because they're on the front lines and they would actually be more comfortable, i suspect if they weren't hearing so much rhetoric out of new jersey. >> reporter: absolutely. the governor says it's his job to make sure that all 160,000 americans who live in this american territory, as well as the 15,000 tourists that come here every day are safe and secure. but that message was also came at the same time while the government today released a stern warning for those who live here to be prepared in the event of a ballistic missile attack. the government releasing information to everyone here on the island, that if this area were attacked by missiles, that they should quote, take cover, seek shelter immediately. not look towards what could be the blast area in fears of being blinded. and if they're outside during an attack, during a potential nuclear attack, to go inside and
quickly take a shower. that is a strong message to everyone who lives here, while the governor is saying relax, stay calm, don't panic. when folks hear this message as well, they can't help but have some concern. >> what a contrast. those kinds of chilling words in what looks like a tropical paradise, indeed. of course, we have all of our troops there, 6,000, 7,000 troops and dependents. it's not considered a danger zone, not normally at least. kelly cobiella in south korea. you are 35 miles from the dmz. there is still a state of war between north korea and the south korea and the u.s. because they have a truce. but no real border, in fact. >> reporter: yeah, hence the demilitarized zone, the area we've seen so many times in pictures with north korean troops standing on one side, south koreans on the other and
americans, of course. here in seoul, there is sort of a slight rising sense of anxiety, sense of worry. mostly about the uncertainty that comes with this war of words between president trump and the north korean regime. they're used to hearing this fiery rhetoric, these threats from north korea over the past decades. but people here will tell you, yes, we've heard it all before, but the north koreans never follow through. but there is a rising concern, i guess, that perhaps now it's a little bit different to play into that today, the south korean government came out with a statement saying, look, we've spoken to our national security counterpart in the united states, general mcmaster, we've received assurances that the two countries will work together in any response to -- in any sort of action dealing with a threat coming from north korea.
and that we'll get some sort of advanced warning. there will be talks between the two countries before anything happens. so a little bit of reassurance for the south korean government. that message going out to the south korean people as the rhetoric heats up. again, as there is this uncertainty among the public with the new american president, still months after he was inaugurated. >> and, kelly, there's also, of course, an associated press story that the diplomat from the state department that had been negotiating for the release of americans being held in north korea, that he was also negotiating during all of this increasingly, you know, tense standoff. he's also been negotiating on a broader level, on a diplomatic level with the regime. do we know anything from that? i know that president moon in south korea has wanted diplomatic talks, but it's been unclear as to whether these
talks were happening. >> reporter: yeah, actually he was rebuffed. his government or representative from the government put out that offer to the north koreans a couple days ago in manila and were essentially told it's not a sincere offer. we don't believe you want to talk sincerely about solving this impasse between the united states, south korea, the united nations and the sanctions, et cetera. and north korea. from the north korean perspective, they're view is we have to develop this program in order to protect ourselves against the united states. their key ally, south korea, just across the border. yeah, this did come up, apparently, moon has had to sort of shift his approach. he's had to step back from the idea that maybe he could find some sort of agreement with north korea and start some sort of talks. because of the situation now,
because of this increased rhetoric, the threats on both sides. moon having to sort of fall in line with president trump of the united states rather than reaching out to north korea. he's already been rebuffed once. i think as far as we're hearing anyway, the effort to have any sort of talks with north korea right now is very much on hold on the part of the south koreans. in fact, one other note, today we heard from the south koreans. they are going to move forward with the planned military exercises. yet another one of these massive military exercises with the u.s. in a couple weeks' time. and that will just further anger the north koreans. they always see these as a provocation. >> that is a good final note. kelly cobiella, thank you so very much. to miguel almanguer in guam, courtney kube at the pentagon and kristen welker, you're going to be another easy friday afternoon and evening for you all at the new jersey white
house. thanks so much for today. >> thanks, andrea. colonel jack jacobs joins me now. jack, you and i have seen a lot of threats and counterthreats over the last decades. but this -- the last couple of days, the language, the rhetoric coming out of new jersey, and the response, understandably from the bellicose north korean regime, just reaches a whole new level. we're talking about two nuclear countries, one doesn't have delivery systems yet, but we're on the -- really on the point of the tip of the spear, as the government in guam says. >> these are interesting times to be sure. no matter what happens, the united states has the conventional capability to utterly destroy the north korean forces. they have a lot of them, but
they're in fixed positions, they're easy to find, we know where they are and we can use conventional means to destroy them, actually in a matter of days. they know it as well. the real problem occurs when you try to figure out what the north koreans are going to do with their missiles. if one is one or more is fired and lands near guam, what do we do? what do we do if a missile lands near guam, but outside our territorial waters? might have one kind of response. what happens if it doesn't hit guam but lands inside our territorial waters, one would have to think there would be a different response. in any case, no matter what happens, as we've been discussing, we have been talking very closely with the chinese. i think it's interesting to note that the chinese, as recently as early this morning, in a non-official publication warned the north koreans that if they attack the united states,
they're on their own. and i think this is the result of consultations with the united states. our problem is trying to figure out what we're going to do about those missiles if any are fired. our anti-missile systems are not yet up to speed. and even if we try to shoot down a missile, and miss, we're in much worse shape than if we don't try to shoot down the missile. we have to figure out which ones we're going to use. >> i've been told we do have sea launch missile defense surrounding guam. wouldn't we shoot it down? >> if we try to shoot it down and we miss everybody is going to know about. that's why i and others think that we're busily working on and using cyber means in order to prevent the missiles either from leaving the pads, making them fail in flight. it's about a 30 minute flight.
or failing in a terminal reentry. >> jack jacobs, of course, anytime we use cyber, they are also gearing up on cyber. thanks for that. coming up, thanks putin. president trump praising his russian counterpart. was he joking for kicking out hundreds of u.s. diplomats? john mclaughlin joins me next on "andrea mitchell reports." stay with us on msnbc. i kept on top of things. then the chronic, widespread pain slowed me down. my doctor said moving more helps ease fibromyalgia pain. he also prescribed lyrica. fibromyalgia is thought to be the result of overactive nerves. lyrica is believed to calm these nerves. woman: for some, lyrica can significantly relieve fibromyalgia pain and improve function, so i feel better. lyrica may cause serious allergic reactions suicidal thoughts or actions. tell your doctor right away if you have these, new or worse depression,
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do you have any response to the russian president expelling 755 workers from our embassy? >> no, i want to thank him. because we're trying to cut down on payroll. and as far as i'm concerned, i'm very thankful that he let go of a large number of people. because now we have a smaller payroll. >> well that was another startling statement from president trump yesterday. thanks vladmir putin for expelling hundreds of diplomats from the country in response to u.s. sanctions. joining me now is john mclaughlin, former cia acting director and a nbc national security analyst. welcome. john, we both know a lot of diplomats and people who have worked in moscow where they're working 24/7. there is a lot of harassment.
to say thank you to vladmir putin, we needed to save the money. we don't need as many people on the embassy step is shocking to people in the diplomatic world. >> it's goofy on so many levels. >> goofy is a good technical word. >> technical word. among other things, you don't save any money. these diplomats and otherwis wi continue to be paid. there is serious work to be done in moscow. particularly at this time when we're struggling to understand what is going on and what russia's role is. so, you know, i think this was the statement of a person who didn't know what to say and just said something flippantly. i don't think it was considered. >> and cory shocky, when we talk about the escalating rhetoric. now there are reports there are back channel talks. we've heard from secretary mattis trying to dial it down, saying keep your eye on the diplomats. nikki haley and rex tillerson
have the ball. how do you balance that? and also, secretary mattis who seems to be saying this is -- this needs a diplomatic solution? >> well, i do think it would be helpful to have a major diplomatic initiative on north korea because the rhetoric has been so escalating on both sides. it's chaer easy for misc misconceptions to occur. it would be helpful in the crisis to have secretary tillerson or mattis offer to go to north korea to talk to the government. even if the north korean government refuses that offer, it would be a helpful sign for americans to understand, to reinforce the message that this is not just a military confrontation, but that there
are diplomatic and economic elements to our strategy. >> at the same time, secretary mattis and tillerson seem to be working very closely together, here comes sebastian gorka on bbc radio. listen to this. >> you should listen to the president, the idea that secretary tillerson is going to discuss military matters is simply nonsensical. it is the job of secretary mattis, as secretary of defense, to talk about the military options. and he has done so unequivocally today. >> so, to both of you, i don't know even how to address what the role of sebastian gorka is. >> i think we have to dismiss that, really. the key things to pay attention to here at this moment are, i think, three things. first, secretary mattis' statement that diplomacy is in the lead here, that's very important coming from him. second, the fact that the
chinese have warned the north koreans if they get in trouble here, they're on their own. on top of that, the evidence that i think kim jong-un is looking for a way out at this point. he's threatened to attack guam in the past. i think it's the president who is a little far forward on his skis here with his rhetoric. i'm not sure how carefully considered it is. but i think the balance of things at this moment are shifting a little bit toward trying to move this back. the other thing i wanted to mention is that we are in some sort of back channel conversations with the north koreans, probably through the representative they have at the u.n. i can foresee a prospect here where this thing starts to move down in terms of up the way it has been going for the last couple of days. >> and that u.n. channel has been a fruitful channel in the past? >> it's a channel we've used
often to set up other negotiations with the north koreans. and, you know, i think part of the way the united states has to think about this at this moment is what is it the north koreans are thinking about doing with their weapons? leave aside the threat to attack guam for a moment, which i don't think is serious. i don't believe they're intending to attack us with these weapons. they're intending to preserve their own regime and that puts a different complexion on this. i don't think it's a time for escalating war of words here, playing chicken with them. i think mattis has this right. get it in diplomatic channels, start to move it back. look for face-saving ways out. nothing to be gained by anyone in a confrontation at this point. >> cory shocky, so back channel talks, no preconditions at all? >> well, i think starting talks
iss is in everybody's interest, no preconditions would be a reasonable way to start the conversation. i agree with john that it would be really helpful to have people in the white house stop talking nonsense. i have noticed two important messages that begin to emerge from the administration from all quarter, including the white house. the first is that american military threats on north korea, the end of the regime, are threats to prevent a north korean attack on us or our allies. the president emphasized that. others have been emphasizing this. we are threatening a retaliation against north korean attacks, not a preemption. that's an important message to go into negotiations with. the second really important message is that an attack on japan or
inseparable to a attack on the united states. there are more than 200,000 americans who live in south korea. no attack on south korea doesn't touch america's vital interests. i think that message is beginning to come through from all members of the cabinet and all quarters of the white house. that's important. >> before i let you go, john, i want to ask you about a memo that came out in foreign policy, which explains why h.r. mcmaster fired an aide named higgins who had been working for mike flynn. apparently, this aide sent a memo to the president of the united states, it had not been vetted by others in the hierarchy and it warned about -- it's a seven page memo from rich higgins, he was in the strategic planning office, and it warns about the deep state, the marxists, globalists, bankers and h.r. mcmaster being threats to president trump. how out of control was the mike
flynn nfc? i can only imagine them trying to get control of this. you have people embedded still loyal to mike flynn feeding conspiracy theories to the president. >> no previous nfc could i imagine anything like that happening. it's not only the impropriety of that individual communicating directly to the president without any filter, it's also the substance of what the person had to say, which is full of all of these ideas about deep state and such. perhaps as a representative of the deep state. i have a strong feeling on that. the deep state is basically our government working. and i think that was just an absurd thing for that individual to do. certainly shouldn't happen. >> it's always great to have you both on, thank you so much. from praising vladmir putin
should senator mcconnell consider sitting down? >> i tell you what, if he doesn't get repeal and replace done, and if he doesn't get taxes done, meaning cuts and reform, and if he doesn't get a very easy one to get done, infrastructure, if he doesn't get them done, then you can ask me that question. >> president trump continuing his unprecedented public shaming of his own party's leader in the senate. joining me now is michael steele, republican advisor for john boehner. who is more popular in the senate with those 52 republicans than mitch mcconnell? >> no one. making these attacks and doubling down on them are dumb and dumber. there is no conceivable alternative to senator mcconnell in the senate among the republicans and there is no way you can enact any portion of the trump agenda without going through senator mcconnell in the united states' senate. >> i'm trying to figure out the strategy here of escalating his attacks on the republican leader. >> i can't see any strategy. i think this is an expression of
frustration. it's an expression of someone who does not have a lot of experience governing. or people around him do not have a lot of experience governing. there is no rational strategy by which this makes any sense. >> there ought to be a legislative advisor inside the white house, a legislative strategy group. >> there are terrific legislative advisors inside the white house, apparently the president is not listening to them. >> and no one has told him that nothing, nothing gets on the floor without mitch mcconnell. >> i think that's an important point and one that a lot of people aren't talking about. the president keeps speaking as though he can pivot and work with senator schumer or democrats on other issues. nothing gets on the floor of the united states senate without mitch mcconnell. >> those are the rules of the senate? >> that's the way it works, thats the way institution works. it runs through him. >> you, of course, remember the relationship the guy you worked for, speaker boehner and president obama, it's not as though they got along that well.
we have a little bit of tape from a previous correspondents dinner which can show a better -- >> a better way. >> a better way. let's watch. >> i can wear my mom jeans in peace, i hate these tight jeans. >> yesterday, i had a beer at 11:30 in the morning. you know, mcdonald's now serves breakfast all day long. >> you know, michelle is going to be at spin class, she'll never know. >> right. let it go. it won't be long you'll be able to walk right out of the oval office singing. >> and those are politicians of a different political party. there's no reason for this animosity from the president towards the senate majority leader. makes no sense. >> how does it play with the base? it didn't play well when he attacked jeff sessions who was a hero with the base. >> what's going to work for all republican voters, including the base is accomplishments. getting things done on tax reform and infrastructure, going
to them next november with a record of accomplishment that is not limited to the supreme court judge gorsuch. >> does it play well for this president, who likes nothing better than a fight. how he can say it's mitch mcconnell's fault nothing has been done, it's not my fault. >> the point remains nothing will have gotten done. that ultimately is the test of this presidency. he's not judged by his opinion polls or by a handful of conservative pundits. he's judged by record of achievement by the american people. >> we've already seen tweets from so many republicans in the caucus who are coming to the defense of -- >> it's incredibly unified in support of mitch mcconnell. they're going to remain unified. it's likely he will be the senate majority leader after donald trump is no longer president. >> michael steele, going to leave it there. thank you so much. and coming up, how can the president say he wants to
this inot this john smith.smith. or this john smith. or any of the other hundreds of john smiths that are humana medicare advantage members. no, it's this john smith. who we paired with a humana team member to help address his own specific health needs. at humana, we take a personal approach to your health, to provide care that's just as unique as you are. no matter what your name is. nuclear, to me, number one, i would like to denuke the world. i know president obama said global warming is the threat.
i disagree. i say it's a simple one, nuclear is our greatest threat worldwide. not even a question. not even close. so i'd like to denuke the world. i would like russia and the united states and china and pakistan and many other countries that have nuclear weapons get rid of them. >> president trump saying that his real wish is to get rid of nuclear weapons. even after threatening to launch a first strike against north korea. how do you explain these conflicting impulses? joining me now is elizabeth randall, the former deputy secretary of energy at the obama white house. i guess you were surprised to learn that after you left office in january, in the next six months, president trump managed to modernize the entire trillion dollar modernization of the arsenal. >> president obama set in place a agenda that included reducing
our reliance on nuclear weapons and the number of nuclear weapons in the world and insuring our arsenal remains safe and secure against any threats we might face. that includes a long-term program that takes years not month to achooieve. >> there was a memo ordered to understand what is the situation. >> usually administrations conduct a nuclear posture review in which they examine what they've inherited and what they believe is necessary. that takes a lot of time and effort. the obama administration issued new nuclear employment guidance in 2013. which emphasized the importance of creating more options for a president in a crisis. i think that's one of the critical issues today, is that you don't want to have to escalate immediately to the use of a nuclear weapon. you want to have a range of options. it's one of the areas in which our military has been working
aggressively to generate those options to manage crisises. >> what about back channel talks with the regime? as you sit in the state department, how do we approach back channel talks which are reported today to be underway with a regime we say we're not talking to? >> i don't know anything about the talks. we do have a lot of experience talking with the north koreans over many administrations. there i would inject a note of caution, which is our experience has been that when negotiating with the north koreans they lie and cheat. a previous nuclear agreement when they agreed to cease their enrichment program they were enriching it covertly. one of the most important elements is intrusive verification and monitoring up front. otherwise you can't have any reason to have confidence that
they would be executing on what they commit to do. >> what do we know about their arsenal? i know there's the new intelligence, which started with the dias assessment which has been confirmed by other agencies in the committees. >> every time the north koreans have tested, they are improving their capabilities. what they haven't yet been able to do is marry those capabilities. what they seek to do is to achieve that goal. and so, of course, we are working very hard to insure we can counter any threat they might present, including through our deterrent and missile defenses. there we have to work to advance the capabilities both regionally we have in place and there was a
significant deployment under the obama administration of regional capabilities and then our strategic defenses in which president obama made a commitment to enhance what we have in the united states to counter a long range threat from the north koreans. >> from what you know of the thaad missile defense system, if they were to fire multiple missiles, i mean, does that -- i really don't mean to boil it down to the layman's way of thinking about it. would that confuse the system? how flexible is that? >> we have multiple systems in place to address a variety of threats. and my confidence level is high that we will be able to meet the challenge. as we look at our ground-based missile defenses from the united states, we're looking at a few shots that might be taken in the future. presently we don't believe he has the capability. he's working to achieve it. and there we are sized to match that threat. our ground-based defenses aren't designed against the russian
threat which would be much more substantial. >> it's great to see you. thanks so much. >> thanks so much for having me on. >> thank you. and now coming up on the inside scoop, something completely different. the mooch on the loose. >> yo. it's me anthony scaramucci, the mooch! [radio alarm] ♪ julie is living with metastatic breast cancer, which is breast cancer that has spread to other parts of her body. she's also taking prescription ibrance with an aromatase inhibitor, which is for postmenopausal women with hormone receptor- positive her2- metastatic breast cancer as the first hormonal based therapy. ♪ ibrance plus letrozole was significantly more effective
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i got to admit, we did hope you would stick around a little bit longer. >> me too. but the mooch has no regrets, baby! all i did was sell my company, miss the birth of my child and ruin my entire reputation. all to be king of idiot mountain for 11 days! [ cheers and applause ] >> we really miss them. it was so good last night, a special summer edition of snl live's weekend update poking fun at anthony scaramucci. let's get the inside scoop from sam stein, daily beast politics editor and msnbc contributor.
while i try to pull myself together. >> i'm glad you went from really important conversation about north korea and then brought in the real experts on the mooch. >> let's just take this down a notch. about missile defense -- >> i would probably leave the set. >> in terms of scaramucci, john kelly, trying to decide who is -- will they even have a communications director? there are a lot of potentials, stephen miller has -- auditioned. >> if you can call it that, yeah. well, you know, what i was struck at this week is, we thought we had sort of left the circus a little bit when scaramucci was dismissed from his position. there was all this talk of general kelly bringing order to the operation, maybe taking down the level of chaos a notch. and we find ourselves right back where we have always been, which is an impulsive president, obvious reacting via social media to the television that he watches. and really rif f'ing
rhetorically on hot-button issues. and it says to me you can all of the handlers in the world, four-star yens running your white house and eliminate the crazy characters from the shop, and in the end trump is trump. >> and in the end, you can have four-star lawyers. this is on paul manafort. >> mr. president, was it appropriate for the fbi to raid the home of paul manafort, predawn, in the early morning? >> i thought it was a very, very strong signal or whatever. i know mr. manafort -- haven't spoken to him in a long time, but i know him. he was with the campaign, as you know, for a very short period of time, relatively short period of time, but i've always known him to be a good man. i thought it was a very, you know -- they do that very seldom. so i was surprised to see it. i was very, very surprised to see it. we haven't really been involved. >> what do you think, jean,
about the way he's handling manafort, who was only there for a very, very short amount of time? >> just three months. and that was longer, or just about as long as anybody else in that position. no, i think it's interesting the way he has dealt with -- this is similar to how he dealt with flynn, you know, where -- as soon as he sees the trouble, he takes a step back. and if you remember, he called -- one time when he was explaining that he did not collude but he couldn't speak for his satellites. so apparently these are his satellites. and so he's just trying to give himself some distance there. which is understandable. but it is very significant that the fbi raided manafort's house. and that investigation has been going on for quite some time now. we don't know what point it's at. but it's a very serious investigation. and it could be that they are trying to squeeze him to try to provide information about the president. we don't know that for sure. but the legal experts say this is one tactic that they might
use if that's what they wanted to do. >> and this was trump being asked about mueller, again, by phil rucker, in the intrepid pool area yesterday in new jersey. >> i haven't given it any thought. i mean, i've been reading about it from you people. you say, oh, i'm going to dismiss him. i'm not dismissing anybody. i want them to get on with the task, but i also want the senate and the house to come out with their findings. judging from the people leaving the meetings, leaks -- they leave the meetings all of the time, and they say, no, we haven't found any collusion. there is no collusion. you know why? because i don't speak to russians. >> first of all, he had told the "new york times" that there were certain red lines, and that if mueller crossed those red lines, that that would be, you know -- be it for him. so -- >> so he clearly is paying fairly close attention to this stuff. i mean, obviously, this hangs over his head. it obviously bothers him. he talks about it all of the time. it's very clear that it's something that, you know, is hampering his ability to at
least communicate a message. >> i mean, we talk about how kelly and the lawyers are all going to try to rein him in. this is an example of where he has been reined in. he really has. because what somehow someone has communicated to him, and this gets back to your mitch mcconnell story earlier that you had. that the senate will not let him do it. i mean, it was really interesting, that last week before the recess, when the senate took three different steps to protect sessions and then consequently mueller. >> there's two actual bipartisan bills in the senate now that would essentially insulate the special prosecutor in this case. and so that is an extraordinary step, and also a reflection of how worried that some lawmakers are that he'll create a conceivably constitutional crisis with this. >> let's see what happens today, tonight, and -- >> there are no weekends. there are no weekends. just keep working through it. >> great to see you. and more ahead on "andrea mitchell reports." we'll be right back, right here on msnbc.
and thanks for being with us. that does it for this edition of "andrea mitchell reports." follow us online on facebook and twitter, at mitchell reports. and craig melvin takes it away right here on msnbc. hi, craig. >> hey, andrea, enjoy your weekend. and good afternoon to you. i'm craig melvin here at msnbc headquarters in new york. locked and loaded. president trump issuing an even harsher warning to north korea.
is ramping uppet rhetoric perhaps an effective strategy or is he just making a bad situation worse? also, candid comments. president trump talking about the fbi raid on his former campaign chairman, paul manafort's home. can he distance himself from the investigation? and on the offensive. trump going after mcconnell yet again? why ultimately the back and forth between the president and his senate leader may not actually matter that much. but we'll start with the report of an ongoing secret back channel between the united states and north korea. news of that effort coming from the associated press, just as president trump and north korea are ramping up the war talk today. the president says a military solution is, in his words, locked and loaded. that came just hours after north korea suggested a preemptive strike could lead to, quote, thermonuclear war. world leaders, meanwhile, are telling the parties